Skip to main content
6:30 pm
ask, don't tell" fails. i'm katie couric. also tonight, it's now the deadliest year for nato forces in afghanistan. black hawk down, nine are killed, most of them americans. political ads are flooding the airwaves. why you may never find out who's paying for some of them. and solutions to the bedbug epidemic. enterprising entrepreneurs smell an opportunity to make a profit. captioning sponsored by cbs from cbs news world headquarters in new york, this is the "cbs evening news" with katie couric. >> couric: good evening, everyone. this is a special broadcast tonight with fewer commercials and more news. and we begin with an issue that has divided this country for years: should gays be allowed to serve openly in the military? since 1993, "don't ask, don't tell" than law, but activists have argued it's not good enough. and congressional democrats saw
6:31 pm
an opportunity to repeal it and provide full rights to gay and lesbian service members. but today, supporters of that repeal fell four votes short of stopping a republican filibuster so as david martin reports, "don't ask, don't tell" lives on. >> reporter: it was an arcane procedural vote. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> reporter: but its significance was crystal clear to david hall, who was caked out of air force r.o.t.c. for homosexuality. >> i was very disappointed in the results of the vote that happened in the senate today. >> reporter: hall watchd watchdm the gallery as president obama's effort to repeal the law which prevents gays from serving openly in the military ran into a solid wall of republican opposition. >> this was basically a fight between the republican side and the democratic side to either try to stop this bill or to get it moving forward and this is really brought it to a standstill. >> reporter: democrats pressed for a vote before the november midterm elections when they are likely to lose seats in the
6:32 pm
senate. but republicans refused to let it come to a vote. >> this is a blatant political ploy in order to try to galvanize the political base of the other side which is facing a losing election. >> reporter: repeal has supporters all the way from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to lady gaga who unleashed her kwai-popping celebrity to denounce "don't ask, don't tell". >> it is against all that we stand for as americans. >> reporter: it even inspired an art exhibit in los angeles, photographs of more than 60 gays still in uniform and hiding their identities. >> countless others currently serve in the military and have to hide who they are and i wanted to show photographs that really captured that kind of isolation. >> reporter: but repeal did not have the support of the leaders of the four arms services is who wanted to wait until the pentagon completes its own study of the effects of allowing gays to serve openly. >> i don't know yet what the impact on unit cohesion will be.
6:33 pm
i don't know yet what the impact of... on recruiting and retention will be in our combat readiness. >> reporter: this was not the last chance to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" but it might have been the best chance for some time to come. katie? >> couric: all right. david martin at the pentagon tonight. david, thanks very much. bill clinton was president when "don't ask, don't tell" became law. since then, an estimated 13,000 gay and lesbian service members have been kicked out of the military. today as part of a wide-ranging interview i asked the former president about the law. "don't ask, don't tell." do you ever regreet it as a policy? >> oh, yeah, but keep in mind i didn't choose this policy. "don't ask, don't tell" was only adopted when both houses of congress had voted by a huge veto-proof margin to legislate the absolute ban on gays in the military if i didn't do something else.
6:34 pm
so there's been a lot of rewriting history saying oh, bill clinton just gave into that. that's just factually false. i didn't do anything until the votes were counted. now, when colin powell saw me on "don't ask, don't tell", here is what he said it would be. gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades as long as they weren't in uniform. that was what they were promised. that's a very different "don't ask, don't tell" than we got. >> couric: we'll have more of my interview with the former president a bit later in the broadcast. right now we turn to the war in afghanistan. 2010 became the deadliest year for coalition forces when a black hawke helicopter went down today in zabul province in the south. nine americans were killed bringing the death toll to at least 530. more now from mandy clark in kabul. >> reporter: the black hawk helicopter was in on a predawn mission just north of kandahar
6:35 pm
when it crashed. 12 people were on board. sources tell cbs news the chopper may have been carrying members of a special forces team, covert nighttime operations, aimed at high-value targets that are a key part of the war strategy. u.s. forces have been swarming into the outskirts of kandahar in an effort to flush the taliban out of its traditional stronghold. the taliban was quick to announce that it shot the black hawk down with rocket-propelled grenades. but nato says there was no enemy fire anywhere in the area. >> the doubting of a... downing of a helicopter whether it was accident, weather related or enemy related, to a certain extent it's to be expected when you have more people, more soldiers, more helicopters in that region. >> reporter: u.s. forces in afghanistan rely heavily on helicopters for everything from transport to close aerial support. this is a rugged mountainous country and the roads are often littered with improvised bombs. this is one of the deadliest helicopter crashes since the war
6:36 pm
began in afghanistan with the surge now complete. american troops are going on more missions and that means more risk and more casualties. mandy clark, cbs news, kabul. >> couric: in this country, the continuing saga of bell, california, where city officials were giving themselves staggering salaries and pensions. six figures and higher. today bill whitaker reports another big number-- 53 counts of corruption against the former city manager. and that's not all. >> raise your hand if you want oscar hernandez to resign. (cheers and applause). >> reporter: at raucous town meetings, angry residents of bell, california, have demanded the resignations of the mayor and town officials who paid themselves exorbitant salaries (boos) today it wasn't resignation they faced but arrest. the mayor and seven current and former bell officials arrested on criminal charges of misappropriating more than five
6:37 pm
and a half million dollars. >> this, needless to say, is corruption on steroids. >> reporter: officials of this working class town were pulling down some of the highest government salaries in the country. while the average household in bell earns about $39,000 a year, four of five bell council members took home more than $100, 000 a year for part-time work. in similar-sized cities the average is about $5,000. do you have anything to say to the people of bell? but most out of line, the salary of former city manager robert rizzo who paid himself almost $788,000 a year-- double president obama's salary. add in benefits and secret loans he took from the city and the d.a. claims rizzo bilked bell for $3.2 million. all the while, city taxes kept going up. >> trash, lighting, everything doubled. >> they used the tax dollars collected from the hard-working
6:38 pm
citizens of bell as their own piggy bank which they then looted at will. >> reporter: the d.a. said this happened because the citizens of bell weren't paying attention, something citizens vow will never happen again. >> this is the greatest victory in bell! >> the community's involved now. they're attending council meetings, doing the hard work and trying to take their city back. >> reporter: believe it or not, those arrested bell city council members are still running the city. they can hold on to their jobs unless they resign, are recalled by the voters, or are convicted. katie? >> couric: bill whitaker. bill, thanks very much. turning to campaign 2010, it's seven weeks until those midterm elections with control of congress at stake. and in the days and weeks ahead, we'll be keeping tabs on the critical contest that will decide it all. in the house, the republicans need a net gain of 39 to take back control and an analysis by our cbs news election team concludes they have an even or better chance of taking 66 of
6:39 pm
the seats now held by democrats. it's a lot more difficult but still possible for republicans to take back the senate. the g.o.p. needs a net pickup of ten and 13 now held by democrats are, in fact, in play. the republicans are likely to take at least one of them and have an even chance or better at nine others. it's doable but it's a long shot. for our cbs news race-by-race analysis of who's ahead in the critical contest, you can go to now to the money of politics. one of the tea party organizations, the tea party patriots, said today it just got one million dollars from an anonymous donor to help get out the vote. and spending on television ads for the midterm elections is expected to total $3 billion. because of a landmark supreme court ruling earlier this year, you may never know who's behind a lot of those ads. here's our chief investigative correspondent armen keteyian.
6:40 pm
>> reporter: you're watching the first wave of an on coming flood of campaign ads. >> bailouts, deficits. >> reporter: paid for by groups who don't have to tell you where their money is coming from. >> she voted for special interest earmarks. >> reporter: the group behind this ad attacking senator patty murray of washington calls itself the committee for truth in politics. >> trillions in deficit spending. >> reporter: yet despite its title, the committee has no web site, not even a phone number and insists on keeping its donor list secret. and it's all legal. >> information about who is bankrolling an ad really is important, critical information. >> reporter: the closest one can get to the truth is the attorney who represents it-- james bopp, jr., a small-town indiana lawyer who has become the go-to guy when it comes to fighting campaign finance disclosure what can you tell me about the committee for truth in politics? >> i can tell you what is public record. >> reporter: can you tell me
6:41 pm
how many members are on the commit see in. >> no. >> reporter: could you tell me how i could become a member? >> i don't know. i don't think you could. >> reporter: could you tell me who your donors are? >> oh, of course not. >> reporter: the 58-year-old bopp was the legal force behind a landmark supreme court ruling last january. for the first time, it gave corporations, unions, and certain nonprofit it is right to pump money into ads that directly endorse or attack a candidate right through election day without always disclosing who's paying for it. jim, do you find it ironic at all that the word "truth" is used but the committee is less than open about the truth about who's behind the organization? >> the truth has to do with the message. and they haven't lied about who is behind it, they just haven't told you. >> reporter: according to a new report from public citizen, only 32% of the outside group's spending on ad are disclosing who bankrolls their operation, down from nearly 50% in 2008.
6:42 pm
many of these so-called shadow groups boast upbeat bipartisan names like "americans for prosperity" and "american future fund." >> this is just the start. if you think it's bad in 2010, wait for 2012 because this is just the test ground. >> hands off our social security and medicare. >> reporter: one democratic group "americans united for change" tied to organized labor has already spent four million dollars this year. they, too, refuse to release their donor list. to date, groups supporting republicans are outspending those supporting democrats by a wide margin. for august and early september alone, by $14 million to nearly $3 million, just for congressional t.v. ads >> has taken nearly a million dollars... >> reporter: a feast of fresh ads leaving the voting pub throik wonder who is really stirring the pot. armen keteyian, cbs news, washington. >> couric: and one more political note. michelle obama will be hitting the campaign trail for
6:43 pm
democratic candidates. polls show she's more popular than the president. the first lady's schedule includes stops in six states over 12 days beginning october 13. with the recession officially over but americans still struggling, president obama is continuing to shake up his economic team. the white house said today his topped a visor, lawrence summers, will leave at the end of the year. this follows the departure of budget director peter orszag and christina romer, head of the council of economic advisors. still ahead on the "cbs evening news"... do you think situation in this country would be different if your wife had been elected instead? but up next, giving teachers report cards and posting them online. they don't like it one bit.
6:44 pm
seventh leading cause of death and affects more than 5 million americans. the alzheimer's association is taking action, and has been a part of every major advancement. but we won't rest until we have a cure. you have dreams... help the alzheimer's association protect them. act now, go to >> couric: states allow student test scores to be used to judge how well their teachers are doing. in los angeles, evaluations of teachers are posted online and they're not happy about it. as ben tracy reports in our continuing series "reading, writing, and reform."
6:45 pm
>> reporter: these teachers if los angeles feel picked on, singled out, and accused of not being good enough. >> it is unfair! >> when did we become the bad guys? when did we become the ones that we dis, that we hate, that we winch hunt? >> reporter: connie ordway teaches fifth grade. she and her colleagues are furious with the los angeles angels of anaheim. the paper created a searchable database including searchable data ranking teachers from best to worst. connie was branded a least effective teacher. when you first saw it, i have to imagine that hurt a little bit. >> of course it did. of course it did. you want to be perceived as an effective teacher. >> reporter: this so-called value-added analysis is a controversial afroth grading teachers. it takes each student's standardized test score from one year and compares it to the next. if the score goes up, the teacher is considered effective. if it goes down, the teacher's ranking goes down. yet critics say test scores don't tell the whole story. >> typically you're just
6:46 pm
measuring progress in english and in math, not in any other subjects or not in any of the other kinds of things we hope teachers will impart to kids. >> reporter: here's how most teachers are evaluated right now. they stand in front of the class and they teach. the principal sits back here and watches and fills out a form. the results? one study found 99% of teachers were rated good or great even in schools where most of the students are failing. >> if you really want to have a meaningful evaluation with a teacher, part of what you need to look at is how much are their students learning each year? that's basically common sense. >> reporter: education secretary arne duncan says washington, d.c.'s revamped teacher evaluations could become a national model. 50% is based on student test scores, 40% classroom observation, 5% the school's overall performance, and 5% for the teacher's contribution to the school community. we do know teachers matter. when underperforming students were assigned to an effective
6:47 pm
teacher three years in a row, 90% of them passed their standardized test. but when students had an ineffective teacher for three years, only 42% passed. >> start your times tables. >> reporter: back in los angeles, claudia trevisan's daughter started third grade this week. our cameras rolled as she looked up her school's teachers on the "l.a. times" site. are you nervous about looking this up? >> i'm more excited. i think our teachers have done >> i'm more excited. i think our teachers have done really well. >> reporter: in fact, four of the teachers listed... >> oh, interesting. wow. >> reporter: ...were rate bed low average, even though the school was rated above average. >> if it makes teachers more accountable and want to do a better job that's better for our kids. >> reporter: because most teachers don't want to fail their students. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: in health news, today is alzheimer's awareness day and two studies shed light on the growing human and financial toll of this disease. one in eight americans 65 and older now has alzheimer's with a
6:48 pm
new case every 70 seconds. that will jump to one every 33 seconds in 2050 and the costs will grow as well. this year caring for the more than five million americans with alzheimer's will cost $172 billion. by 2030, nearly eight million americans will have the disease at a cost of about $400 billion. we'll be right back. you have plans... moments you're looking forward to... what if they were stolen from you? by alzheimer's. this cruel disease costs americans more than $170 billion a year, and could cripple medicare in the near future. the alzheimer's association is taking action, and has been a part of every major advancement. but we won't rest until we have a cure. you have plans... help the alzheimer's association protect them. act now, go to
6:49 pm
>> couric: there's a high-powered gathering going on here in new york city. it includes 64 current and former heads of state along with corporate c.e.o.s and nobel prize winners. the goal: nothing short of solving the world's problems. it's part of the clinton global initiative and today i spoke with the man behind it all, former president bill clinton. to get his thoughts on what's been accomplished and more. >> what i'm really proudest so the huge numbers of people at all income levels, all walks of life across all religious and racial and ethnic groups we have turned into a global network. that's more important than the fact that we have given 75 million more people access to maternal and child health and 50 million more kids better education and more important than the statistics is people know there's a net worth. they can come to us and figure out how they can make a difference. >> couric: a lot of people in this country might say "hey,
6:50 pm
that's great that you're doing things around the world but this country needs help." >> i completely agree. and first of all every year there are a fair number of commitments that help americans in economics or education or health care. this year i think there will be more. >> couric: why is unemployment still so high? where are the jobs? >> i think first of all it is... it's been essentially a jobless recovery because first there was such trauma that the banks are still holding on to their money. the other thing is the skills mismatch. more and more people dropped out of school, we fell from first to tenth in the world in percentage of people with college degrees in the last decade, now down to 12th. so whroo we really should be thinking in n minute is this. where are we going to get these jobs? small business manufacturing, clean energy. where's the money? we know. in the banks, the corporations, and overseas investment.
6:51 pm
>> couric: he may be tackling social issues around the world, but he's still paying close attention to the upcoming midterms. do you think it's going to be a bloodbath for the democrats. >> it depends on whether it's a choice or a referendum. if it's a choice i think we'll surprise everybody and do quite well because if people start thinking again about what the alternatives are and what they really want, we're going to do just fine. this is crazy. they had eight years, eight long years to dig this hole. their argument is they had 21 months, we the democrats had 21 months to get out of their eight-year hole, we spent $800 billion, only a third of which was designed to create new jobs, on a three trillion dollar hole, didn't get us out, throw us out, bring the old team back in so they can do what dug the hole in the first place. it's not a persuasive argument. it only works if you're really angry or really apathetic and everybody stops thinking. >> couric: do you think the situation in this country would be different if your wife had been elected instead?
6:52 pm
>> you know, that's impossible to know. i tell you what i think. i think both the president and the congress have done a better job than they have gotten credited with because people's lives don't feel better and because they have been effectively attacked and because the republicans have just said no. >> couric: following this week's meetings, you can expect to see former president clinton on the campaign trail supporting other democrats ahead of those midterm elections. at the white house today, an extraordinary act of heroism long kept secret was officially recognized. president obama awarded the medal of honor posthumously to air force chief master sergeant richard etchberger. his three sons accepted it on his behalf. in 1968, etchberger fought off north vietnamese soldiers who had overrun his radar station in laos and loaded three wounded comrades into a helicopter.
6:53 pm
they survived but even burger was... etchberger was killed by a stray bullet as the chopper took off. his act of valor was kept under wraps for decades because his mission was top secret. hey what's going on? doing the shipping. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate box shipping starts at $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. the medicine in advil is their #1 choice for pain relief. more than the medicines in tylenol or aleve.
6:54 pm
use the medicine doctors use for themselves. one more reason to make advil your #1 choice. use for themselves. words alone aren't enough. my job is to listen to the needs and frustrations of the shrimpers and fishermen, hotel or restaurant workers who lost their jobs to the spill. i'm iris cross. bp has taken full responsibility for the clean up in the gulf and that includes keeping you informed. our job is to listen and find ways to help. that means working with communities. restoring the jobs, tourist beaches, and businesses impacted by the spill. we've paid over $400 million in claims and set up a $20 billion independently-run claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. and our efforts aren't coming at tax-payer expense. i know people are wondering-- now that the well is capped, is bp gonna meet its commitments? i was born in new orleans.
6:55 pm
my family still lives here. i'm gonna be here until we make this right. [music playing] when you take away all the canned chicken broth that adds msg, one stands alone. the secret is swanson 100% natural chicken broth. and you can't go back and un-do the times you tried quitting... ♪ ...then started again. but every smoker was a non-smoker once. and you could be again. for many, smoking is a treatable medical condition. so talk to your doctor about prescription treatment options and support. and make this time, your time.
6:56 pm
>> couric: we end tonight with a subject that's kept a lot of people from sleeping tight-- bedbugs. they've become such a problem experts and entrepreneurs swarmed a hotel near chicago today for a kind of bedbug summit. it wasn't exactly her dream assignment, but cynthia bowers was there, too. >> reporter: with marquee stores like nike in midtown manhattan now shut down due to bedbugs, why would a big-name hotel knowingly let them check in? because these pests aren't unwanted guests, they are the featured attraction at the first-ever north american bedbug summit. >> the bedbug has a disint tintive smell. >> reporter: more than 50 exhibitors cramed into a small ballroom, all touting solutions to a creepy and increasingly
6:57 pm
lucrative epidemic. >> it's exploding at levels we haven't seen in the past. >> reporter: last year, americans spent more than $258 million trying to get rid of bedbugs. more than double the 2006 level. a number sure to rise as fear-- like the infestation-- spread. detective bedbug promises its dogs can sniff out the critters in a matter of minutes. all you're doing is delivering the bad news. you're not killing bedbugs. >> no, but the bad news is tough to give. >> reporter: and companies are cashing in on our desperation, pushing everything from pesticides to luggage wrappers. >> you will eliminate the bedbugs from your luggage. >> reporter: even a concoction that smells like us. >> this is the bedbug beacon. >> reporter: to help capture the blood thirsty buggers. if you're hesitant about bringing chemicals into your house, there are two other options. first, you can freeze them or you can fry the suckers. the temperature in this room is
6:58 pm
more than 130 degrees. high heat at a high cost, as much as several thousand dollars depending on the size of the house. >> we have a good solution to bedbug treatment but we need to make it more affordable. >> reporter: to take the bite out of the bill as well as the bugs. cynthia bowers, cbs news, rosemont, illinois. >> couric: makes me itch. that's the "cbs evening news" for tonight. i'm katie couric. thank you for watching. see you back here tomorrow. good night. captioning sponsored by cbs captioned by media access group at wgbh from the first local station with news in high definition, this is 9news now. >> hello, in your only local news at 7:00, hanging up, the
6:59 pm
second annual distracted drivers summit aims to keep us safer behind the wheel. stabbed on the job. a problem assessor is attacked taking pictures at a shopping center and promise denied. senate republicans block president obama's effort to repeal don't ask, don't tell. >> i'm joel brown on capitol hill where democrats were unable to deliver. they needed 60 votes and get rid of don't ask, don't tell. the democrats came up short. >> the motion is not agreed to. >> the democrats were counting on republican, susan collins to break ranks and support the bill. but she changed her mind at the last minute. >> i think we should welcome the service of these individuals. but i cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down the

CBS Evening News With Katie Couric
CBS September 21, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Katie Couric. The latest world and national news. New. (HD) (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY Couric 16, Los Angeles 6, Afghanistan 4, Obama 4, Cbs News 3, Washington 3, Alzheimer 3, Us 3, Katie Couric 3, Bill Clinton 3, Pentagon 2, Kabul 2, U.s. 2, California 2, Nato 2, Alzheimer 's Association 2, Katie 2, Mandy Clark 2, Bill Whitaker 2, Cynthia Bowers 2
Network CBS
Duration 00:30:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 79 (555 MHz)
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 528
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 9/21/2010